Mouth watering wild strawberries in fresh cream. True Italian style. This simple and the sublime dish was served up to me at Trattoria Sostanza, Il Troia as it’s often called, after I dined on a decadent dish of baked chicken smothered in butter. The concierge at my hotel assured me this place was easy to find and just around the corner from the hotel, but failed to tell me that if I got there too early a rolling door would hide the restaurant from view. I was early because I did not have a reservation. I was armed with a verbal note from my knowledgeable Florence tour guide from earlier in the day. “Just tell them I sent you”, advised Ann Reavis, a guide arranged by my friend of Judy Witts Francini. “But get there early.” So I wandered up and down the tiny street until they flung open the rolling door. I then had an ah-ha moment. Upon entering I firmly announced my recommendation from Ann and they grudgingly found me a seat at a communal table. My seatmates were an Italian family celebrating something (never did figure out exactly what they were celebrating) and a young British couple. The simple decor and brusk mannerisms of the waiters were unimportant. I had my prized seat and mustered up my best Italian to place my order. Over dinner we discussed American politics and I learned about how my British friends met and later married. The wild strawberries and cream topped off one of my best evenings on my own in Florence in May of 2012. As I made my way back to the hotel, I found myself surrounded by a bevy of stylish young Italians mingling outside a nearby restaurant. “Maybe someday this will be me,” I dreamed. Yeah right. If you would like to read more about Trattoria Sostanza, here is a great post from Elizabeth Minchilli.